On the Grid: Fun Summer Reads 8/11/23

On the Grid: Fun Summer Reads 8/11/23

On the grid summer reading HG

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With Congress out on recess, policy conversations have quieted on the Hill. We’re also taking a step back to recharge, catch up on some reading, and gear up for the next round of political showdowns with big-ticket items like government spending, defense authorization, and comprehensive permitting reform.  

We’ve put together our must-read list so we can hit the ground running post-recess. Kick back and join us for a read! 


  1. Gretchen Bakke, in The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, dives deep into the history of electrical power in the US and the challenges our power grid faces as we look to transition to carbon-free electricity. 
  2. Chris Miller, in Chip War, explores the origin of America’s semiconductor industry, how market shares have shifted to other countries, and the role of advanced chip manufacturing in determining the structure of the global economy and the balance of geopolitical power.
  3. Meghan O'Sullivan, in Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power, unpacks how energy markets drive foreign relations and how we can leverage the shift from global energy scarcity to energy abundance to best shape our interests. 
  4. Want to lean more into a science fiction lens? Check out Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson for a fictional but all-too-possible take on the consequences of ignoring climate change. He also weaves in the real-life urgency behind deploying many new policies and innovations to avert disaster. 


  1. Jake Sullivan, in an address to the Brookings Institute, outlines how the Biden Administration is using a renewed industrial and innovation strategy to position the US to better compete globally. 
  2. Tim Ryan, in The Liberal Patriot, pushes back on the defeatist narrative that American workers and industries do not have what it takes to stand up to major competitors like China when it comes to building and deploying clean energy technologies.
  3. Robinson Meyer, in The New York Times, explains how the government, through a trifecta of major climate legislation, has a new approach to simultaneously manage the economy and address climate change all while dealing with new and unprecedented challenges. 
  4. J. B. Ruhl and James E. Salzman, in The Greens’ Dilemma: Building Tomorrow’s Climate Infrastructure Today, outline the history of the modern environmental movement, urging groups to reinvent themselves to meet current challenges surrounding climate change and the clean energy transition.
  5. Brian Deese, in the The New York Times, explains how the Biden Administration’s climate and clean energy agenda is spurring private investment at an unprecedented rate. For a deeper dive, you can read our work on how recent legislation is unleashing $1 trillion from the private sector. 
  6. Michael Davidson et al., in Science, analyze the risks of decoupling from China on low-carbon technologies and the impact this would have on our economy and our ability to meet climate goals. 


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